Cedar City will welcome the largest international sporting event to ever be held in the city this summer, when the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah professional cycling stage race passes through in August. Preparations to host what is being billed as "America's Toughest Stage Race," for the best cycling teams in the world, are well underway across the city and on campus, including ongoing recruitment for volunteers to help coordinate this stretch of the race.
The week-long race, which will open on August 6 in Brian Head, travel down through Cedar City, where it will mark its first finish stage. The race will then head north across the state to conclude in Park City on August 11, utilizing the assistance of close to 2,000 volunteers in a wide variety of roles and locations throughout race week. The southern Utah planning team is currently accepting online applications for volunteer assistance—a great way to get involved in a truly unique and exhilarating competitive sporting event.
The Tour of Utah is an internationally sanctioned race, and according to Keri Mecham, director of Student Involvement and Leadership at SUU, this volunteer opportunity may be appealing to many students who are staying for the summer or who wouldn't mind returning to Cedar City for a few days to visit with friends and do something different and exciting.
Said Mecham, "This is unlike anything else students can do, as far as volunteer work goes, in Cedar City, and I want our students to be able to have this opportunity if they're interested."
Mecham also said that in addition to being a great service-learning opportunity for those interested in biking themselves or in sporting and event management, this event has great potential to bring students and local community members, including SUU faculty and staff, together in common interests—particularly because the race has incorporated SUU's campus into its course, and the University is helping to coordinate the southern Utah event.
Individuals as well as service groups and clubs are encouraged to provide their time and expertise to the southern Utah portion of the race. Beyond personal satisfaction, volunteers will receive a unique behind-the-scenes perspective into what it takes to put on a major sporting event. The Utah Sports Commission is assisting the Tour with volunteer coordination.
Volunteers will also receive a commemorative Tour of Utah t-shirt, as well as additional branded merchandise and products as thanks for their time and efforts.
"The Utah Sports Commission views willing volunteers as an event's most valuable resource, and Utah's well-trained volunteer force has been a key factor in attracting top national and international sporting events to the state," said Jeff Robbins, president and CEO of the Utah Sports Commission.
While course marshal positions are the strongest need, additional support will be needed with the Lifestyle Expo and Team Presentation events, which will kick off race week on August 5 in Cedar City. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age, and are required to sign a wavier. Individuals are asked to designate this start or finish line areas that are preferred for each volunteer position.
In addition to Cedar City, the 2013 Tour of Utah host cities and venues include Brian Head, Panguitch, Torey, Richfield, Payson, Salt Lake City, Snowbasin Resort, Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort and Park City. Now in its ninth year, the 2013 Tour will include some of the state's most beautiful and challenging terrain. In 2012, the race covered more than 500 miles and 38,000 vertical feet of climbing.
The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah continues to be free to all spectators, making professional cycling one of the most unique pro sports in the world today. For more information about the volunteer program, interested individuals and group leaders should contact the Tour of Utah directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.